After visiting Mina one notices a public domain somewhat in contradiction with itself. On the one hand, Mina has a unique access to several islands and a beautiful seaside corniche giving an expansive access to the coast, Cow island as well as a number of historical sites. However, there is a significant lack of meaningful public furniture along most of these locations, especially the corniche. A series of badly built benches are the extent of what does exist along the corniche, and they are in disrepair, provide no back-rests, and each has no shade during the day given that there are no trees or trellis structures. Furthermore, one location in particular stands out as a major focal point along the corniche due to how much activity revolves around and through it both day and night and how little exists in the way of built interventions to accommodate that activity. That location is the informal boat hub in between the entrance to Cow island and the fisherman’s port to the South of it. It is there that all the visitors go to hire a boat to take them to one of the several islands off coast. But it is also near there where other visitors come to walk across the bridge to Cow island, or simply to enjoy a walk along the corniche.
The proposed intervention seeks to serve these criss-crossing paths of activity in this area by creating a place to rest while walking or wait for a boat ride or island-visitors returning. The design utilizes a varying seating surface that allows for a variety of postures to be accommodated as well as providing shading.
The design inspiration comes from boat-hull construction used throughout many of the fishing and touring boats along Mina’s coast. A method known as “lofting” wood to take on curved geometry. This construction method provides an elegant method for creating an intervention that can interact with body sizes of all sorts, from children to adults. Simultaneously, the concept and construction method of the intervention is a meaningful reference to Mina’s seafaring and ship-building history which can be a source of pride to the local community and communicate a story to the city’s guests.